Thursday, 5 March 2009

The Guru

There was a special yoga class with a teacher in from New York to impart his wisdom. I've never done anything like that before. Can't say I'll race out and do it again in a hurry but it was brilliant to see a different way of taking a class. And it was good for the spirits.

I am not sure if my chakras have been realigned or even installed. There were quite a few movements and positions I was nowhere near but it was good to see just how far there is to go on the journey.

Empowering and humbling.

The Gulf II

There's a line in Seinfeld in which the character George says something like: "I don't get modern art."

I get to look at it because I am trying to see the point. I like Yves Klein because I like blue. I finally got Picasso after going round the museum here and spending time watching the development of the artist.

Enlivened by the Voids thang, I went to the Musée d'Art Modern de la Ville de Paris as there was a day of strikes at the radio station.

Since all this was announced and organised while I was in London I turned up at work to find out that I was not going to work.

Perhaps the Maison de la Radio is an art installation.

I took in Jimmie Durham and Giorgio de Chirico before taking a coffee and taking off when I saw a rather large mouse prancing under a table in a cafe.

These exhibitions had pieces in them. Positively clogged up by comparison with what I'd seen on Wednesday.

For sheer value for money, the Thursday bonanza at the Musée d'Art moderne wins hands down. But for enduring and exhilarating hilarity, nothing beats a void.

The Gulf

A rain soaked Wednesday? Relieve the gloom with a trip to the Pompidou Centre. More like relive the gloom. Seemingly slashed canvases depicting fractured angst and transcendent discord.

Well enough of the permanent exhibits. The temporary show caught my eye. Voids A Retrospective has been on just over a week.

It was a collection of exhibitions that - to cite the blurb - "presented a completely empty space, gallery, or museum".

There was Yves Klein's number from 1958. Lightly titled The Specialization of Sensibility in the Raw Material State Into Stabilized Pictorial Sensibility.

Klein painted the gallery interior white to make "an ambiance, a genuine pictorial climate, and, therefore, an invisible one."

Apparently this show started the empty space as a work of art.

The other artists included Robert Barry, Robert Irwin, Laurie Parsons, Bethan Huws, Maria Eichhorn, Roman Ondák and Stanley Brouwn.

And they all had their take on the blank, white space.

Personally I've always liked the idea of emptiness being pregnant with meaning. But I was slightly befuddled about passing from white space to white space.

Fortunately there were arrows saying exhibition continues this way.
I really should have known there are whiter shades of pale. The boy certainly danced to this tune.

In Ondák's rendition More Silent Than Ever, the boy jumped out of his buggy and ran around it and me - a blur of motion. Oh the jauntiness of youth.

It seemed a trenchant summary on contemporary economic preoccupations.

I've always been impressed by a chapter in Sartre's Nausea. It went along the lines of: Nothing. Existed.

No matter how hard I've tried over the years I've never been able to connect with that kind of evacuation.

But since viewing the shoal of voids, I've been quite chirpy. Truly enwhitened.